President Biden Marks 1st Anniversary of Uvalde School Shooting: ‘It’s Time to Take Action’


As families and loved ones mourn the unimaginable deaths of 19 children and two teachers who were shot in Uvalde, Texas last year, President Joe Biden said at a solemn White House memorial that too many He said schools, too many everyday places, have become “murder scenes.”

On May 24, 2022, a gunman broke into Robb Elementary School, killing 19 children and two adults. A further 17 people wounded in this shooting survived.

Biden addressed a display of 21 candles, one for each victim, with white roses and satin ribbons in school colors with each victim’s name and age. All of the students killed were between the ages of 9 and 11. The president paused with his teacher, First Lady Jill Biden, to look at the names of the dead before speaking.

I think today is a really tough day for the whole family. Remembering is important, but it is also painful. One year ago today, Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas became America’s other murder scene.

President Joe Biden

A few days later, Mr. Biden described how he stood at Uvalde, staring at 21 crosses outside the school with the names of the victims. He said he spent hours with his grieving family.

“We know this is still raw for all of you after a year,” he said. “You will miss birthdays, holidays, school games, soccer games.

The murder, and another mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, led to the passage of a bipartisan bill that passed a divided Congress just a month later. This has become the most important gun safety law in decades. The law strengthens background checks on the youngest gun buyers, keeps firearms away from domestic violence offenders, and encourages states to enact red flag laws to make it easier for authorities to disarm people they deem dangerous. intended to support.

“Until Congress passes common-sense gun-safe laws to keep weapons of war off the streets and in the hands of dangerous people, this epidemic won’t end. Until every state does the same. How many more parents?” are going to have their worst nightmare ever.” Will we face the gun lobby? ‘ Biden said.

The president addressed his remarks directly to Congress, calling on all members of Congress to stand up to gun lobbying and enact legislation that would help stop the spread of gun violence in the United States. Specifically, the president said he wanted assault weapons to be banned again, along with high-capacity magazines.

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US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attend a memorial service at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Biden spoke to mark the one-year anniversary of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting. .

“In my view, we need to ban AR-15 firearms and assault weapons again. They have been used many times to mass murder innocent children and people. We need to ban high-capacity magazines that have “20, 30, 40, 50, 60 bullets without reloading,” Biden said. “Today, guns are still the deadliest killer of children in America.”

Last year, the President and First Lady Visited Uvalde days after the shooting I also met with the families of the children who died in the shooting. Biden said she had heard from Americans pleading with her and her first lady to do something about gun violence.

“Standing there in Uvalde, Jill and I couldn’t help but think that in communities across America, too many schools, too many everyday places have become killing fields. , everywhere we hear the same message: ‘Do something, for God’s sake,’ please, do something,” Biden said.

“So it’s time to act. It’s time to make our voices heard. Not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as friends, neighbors, parents, fellow Americans,” Biden said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has blocked attempts to enact new gun laws in the state. moment of silence 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, coinciding with the moment the shooting began.

People in the town of Uvalde, who have sought privacy as the anniversary approaches, have planned a closed-door ceremony and candlelight rally on Wednesday night.

Uvalde is still managing the consequences of the failure of the emergency response to the shooting. How the days after the attack were marred by officials’ inaccurate and contradictory accounts of their efforts to stop his teenage gunman, armed with an AR-style rifle. Investigations are still ongoing as to what happened. It was the deadliest school shooting since 2012, when 20 children aged 6 to 7 and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

A haunting report by Texas legislators found nearly 400 police officers from various federal, state and local agencies at the scene. The investigation revealed how heavily armed officers waited over an hour before confronting and killing the 18-year-old shooter. He also accused police of failing to “prioritize saving innocent lives above their own safety.”

On Wednesday, in Austin, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Democratic Sen. Rolando Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, read the names of the 21 victims of the murder as the entire chamber fell silent in mourning. .

Each victim was memorialized with a speech explaining who they were and the loved ones they left behind. “Despite all our differences, I pray that we will strive to be better angels, perhaps remembering moments when we were little,” Gutierrez said. “Look at these pictures of children and remember our better angels.”

During the biennial Texas legislative session, which begins in January and ends on Monday, groups of victims’ families, with a few exceptions, make the three-hour drive to Austin every Tuesday to meet legal age requirements. He lobbied lawmakers in hopes of raising the age limit to 20. Between the ages of 18 and 21, possessing certain semi-automatic weapons (such as the one used by the 18-year-old Yuvalde Archer).

But in the Republican-controlled Texas legislature this year, Republicans rejected the gun-control bill and nearly all other gun-control proposals.

Months later, the new federal law is showing some success. The FBI’s enhanced background checks blocked 119 purchasers under the age of 21 from selling guns, increased prosecutions of unauthorized gun sellers, and at least introduced new penalties for gun trafficking. 30 nationwide. Millions of new dollars have flowed into mental health services for children and schools.

But since the bill was signed into law last summer, the number of mass shootings in the United States has only increased. Five dead at a nightclub in Colorado. Eleven dead at a dance hall in California. Three nine-year-olds and three adults were shot dead at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. Seven people were shot dead in rural Oklahoma.

As of May 24, there have been at least 25 mass murders in the United States so far in 2023, excluding perpetrators who died, according to a database maintained jointly by the Associated Press and USA Today. At least 127 people have died. Tohoku University.

The country has seen the fastest rate of mass murders in any year since 2006, according to the database, which describes mass murders as killings of four or more people, excluding the perpetrator, within 24 hours. defined. – time zone.

A total of at least 556 incidents have occurred in the United States since 2006, resulting in at least 2,892 deaths, according to the database.

Firearms are the number one killer of children in the U.S. So far this year, 85 children under the age of 11 have been killed by guns, and 491 children between the ages of 12 and 17 have died. As of 2020, the gun death rate for children under 19 is 5.6 per 100,000. Canada comes next, with 0.08 per 100,000 deaths.

“It’s time to act,” Biden said. “It’s time to make our voices heard. Not as Democrats or Republicans, but as friends, as neighbors, as parents, and as fellow Americans.”

“We know that for a long time it was difficult to move forward,” Mr. Biden said. “But there will come a point when our voices will be so loud and our resolve so clear that we can no longer stop it. We will act.”

NBC 5 and Associated Press.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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